An argument for physical books

Confession: I am a huge advocate of the reading of eBook on your favorite dedicated eReader. I own a Nook and enjoy consuming books that way. That being said, recently I have run across a few books that are, in my humble opinion, better enjoyed in their physical print form.

Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield – I ran across this book a few months ago while perusing one of the librarian magazines. I thought that it was an interesting subject. So a few weeks ago, my library finally got some copies in and I was able to read it. The author takes a humorous but informative look at the history of font faces. Since the introduction of the personal computer, there has been more of an amateur following of font faces. (Sidebar: I have had access to a personal computer since age 5!) Garfield also delves into the background stories of several notable font at the end of each chapters. One of the reasons I believe this book isn’t available in eBook format is because the author illustrates many of the different fonts that he discusses. Most ereaders would like render the text in their default font which takes away from the reader’s consumption of the work. So or all of you font geeks out there, this is a great book for you.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – My boss told me about this book and I love her for it. It’s a fantastic read. This is a young adult novel that mixes a little historical fiction with paranormal activity. This book weaves in old photographs as part of the story. I wanted to read this in its print format for the pictures but I was impatient. So I downloaded the ebook version from our Overdrive library. While I was able to follow the story and see the pictures on my Nook, I think I would have enjoyed better in print. There is a few instances in the book where an image of a handwritten letter is part of the story. On my Nook, I could not enlarge to read this part, so I had to look at on my computer screen. This is one of those instances where both versions of the book can be enjoyed but one has more attributes than the other.

The Geek Dad’s Guide to Weekend Fun: Cool Hacks, Cutting-Edge Games and More Awesome Projects for the Whole Family by Ken Denmead – Ironically, I initially discovered this as an eBook on a neighboring library’s website. I was just browsing and the title looked interesting. I started reading it on my Nook just to see some of the ideas. I found it hard to follow the instructions for ideas with the diagrams in the book. I completely understand why it was made available as an eBook. This is part of a series that stemmed from a popular blog Geek Dad, which is hosted by Wired magazine. So with a tech savy audience in mind, the publisher released an electronic edition. I finally got a chance to look the print version. I think it works better this way because you can read the book and view the digrams and flip back and forth.

I will say some of my objections to these books in their electronic formats are problems that exist with dedicated eReaders like the Nook and Kindle. I may have had a completely different experience on a tablet device like an iPad. I still enjoyed holding these books and I assert that physical books are not dead yet.

About Theresa

I am a librarian in Reference Services at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I have always been passionate about history, education and the value of books in all of their forms. I also love how quickly we can access information through the immediacy of the web, especially social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to growing in my chosen profession.

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One Response to An argument for physical books

  1. Thom North says:

    Super post. Some great points you highlight in there.

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